St. Louis prohibits any gathering of 1,000 or more people

By NewsRadio 1120 KMOX

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The City of St. Louis is declaring a public health emergency and will prohibit events of 1,000 people or more. 

Mayor Lyda Krewson made the announcement during a press conference with several city officials. St. Louis Health Department director Dr. Fredrick Echols says there will be a few exceptions like day to day activities at schools and churches."But any [other> event in excess of 1,000 people will be strictly prohibited until further notice," Echols told reporters. 

Today, in order to be proactive and protect and safeguard the health and safety of the public, @STLCityGov and @CityofSTLDOH are declaring a public health emergency and are prohibiting events with attendees in excess of 1,000 people until further notice. #COVID19

— Mayor Lyda Krewson (@LydaKrewson) March 12, 2020

They say there are no plans to close St. Louis Public Schools for now.Echols and Mayor Krewson say the canceling of large scale events should help minimize the chances the virus will gain a larger foothold in the region. Right now, there are no positive cases of COVID-19 in the city and still only one case in St. Louis County. Health officials say 20 people in the city are under self quarantine and are being monitored for symptoms.

Click here for the latest headlines on the coronavirus pandemicThe city's presiding judge says the circuit court will remain open, with heightened screening of jurors for possible symptoms. Criminal cases could possibly be reprioritized if the jury pool gets smaller."We think all these steps should minimze the impact," Mayor Krewson said. "I don't think we know at this time what is the number, but we believe this is out of an abundance of caution... is how these decisions are being made."

You can watch the announcment live from Krewson's Facebook page: